Finding a Memory – When Memory is Shot to Pieces

Memory is an interesting topic isn’t it. We all have memories, whether they are scraps of sounds, smells and emotion, or full on movie scenes playing in our heads.

This the second post in a 52 week blog challenge I have, somewhat rashly, signed up for.

My track record with regular blogging is rather hit and miss 😛

I’ve written about memories in an earlier post Overcoming the pain of lost memories

The post was triggered when my husband and I delightedly welcomed old friends from France into our home. The visit was very welcome, but it also brought home two things:

  • how many memories I’ve lost since illness scarred my brain, and
  • how hard it is to trawl through my brain trying to mesh together any memory pieces that I can recall.

memoryI remember the past piecemeal. Somethings I can see quite clearly. Other times, I have no recollection at all – even though my husband can remember the event in considerable detail. Oftentimes though, my memory is a piece of something. A walk along the beach near St Tropez; a distinctive hotel room with exposed, ancient oak beams; the sound of cowbells in a Swiss flower-filled field; the taste of freshly made crepes with chestnut sauce; the joy of seeing Mont St Michel for the first time; emotion that filled my soul so much I can still find it today.

Which brings me back to my earliest memory …

It’s really hard to know what I can actually remember, and what I think I remember from the pile of photographs my father took of me – his first child.

I do remember my first dog.

Smokey was technically my mom’s dog. But I loved him, and he loved me. He used to sit in my cot and watch over me if mom had to pop to the shop and leave me home alone.

He followed me around the garden as I tried to plant seeds and pull weeds. Not necessarily getting either right 😀

I remember his silky fur and his tattered ear from a dog fight when he was a pup. I remember his little licks against my skin and the smell of his wet fur after a bath.

The day he died is seared into my brain. He died on the garden path, in one of his favourite spots, lying in the sun beside the old shed. My mother cried inconsolable tears. No-one noticed me slumped on a still swing. It was sunny and I think I was in first year of school, I vaguely remember the coarse fabric of my school uniform against my legs. I can’t tell you any other thing about it, but the pain of his passing is with me forever. It took a long time for the memory of his love and joyous company to sing as loud as that pain. But it did, and I’ve been a dog lover and happy fur-baby mom ever since.

It might not be my first memory, but it’s certainly the strongest memory from my early childhood. I look forward to hearing yours 🙂

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Kim Cleary, Author

Kim Cleary

Kim writes paranormal stories with a intrigue, suspense and a hint of romance. She loves all animals, especially her dogs; and thrives on coffee and chocolate while writing and researching.

12 thoughts on “Finding a Memory – When Memory is Shot to Pieces”

  1. Savannah BlaizeSavannah Blaize

    Yes I can understand your loss, because that was one thing that menopause changed in me that broke my heart. I will never be the same again. My memory was razor sharp. I could recall events, significant days and details so clearly, going back years and years. Where I went, who I was with, what I wore, what I ate, and all in such detail. Excellent skill for a writer. When my memory started to fade, I mourned it’s passing. Oh I still remember things. But now important future events NEED to be written down and diarised. Everything I want to do or think about doing needs to be written on a To Do list, to be completed within a timeframe. Memorising phone numbers is no longer relied upon. Names often allude me, although faces do not. Tying them together is often a puzzle, especially when stressed. Actors I have known and loved can be visualised, but their names remain illusive, sometimes for days. The names just will NOT come to my tongue, and I struggle with it. I have the usual situation that they put down to old age, where I will walk into a room and forget why I am there. Or I have an idea for a scene in my book just as I am drifting off. Nine times out of ten it will not be there when I wake up. I still have a good memory. But I had an excellent memory, and that is a bitter pill to swallow.

  2. Kenzie MichaelsKenzie Michaels

    My memories are now ‘jump-started’ by family photographs, and the diares/journals I kept over the years. If I could go back in time, I’d go back to that disastrous day where I willingly threw away my college journals, just to ‘prove my love’ to an IDIOT who didn’t like hearing stories of my friends’ antics. Oh how I long to have those back! Now my b/f rather cringes when I call her and the first words out of my mouth are, ‘I need you to stretch your memory….’ We’ve both forgotten so much, but when we get together and looking over the photos we took, some forgotten snippet will return.

  3. Helen HendersonHelen Henderson

    Can emphasize with your losses both of dog and memory. While I might be able to recall part of an event using a photograph or someone bringing it up, memories are no longer sharp and clear total recall that goes by like a movie.

  4. Ed HoornaertEd Hoornaert

    I remember when I got my first dog, too. Of course, I was 26 at the time. Growing up, I never felt that I was deprived by have no pets, but now I love the furry beasts immensely.

  5. MaureenMaureen

    It’s sad how sometimes the bad memories are so much easier to remember than the good ones.

  6. Raine BalkeraRaine Balkera

    Gosh, how I love that pic of you and the dog! Thanks for sharing!

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